Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Google Was Making A Space Elevator And A Hoverboard, But Couldn't Get Them To Work

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bitter pill to swallow

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Investors take fright over Google results

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism (part 2)

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Rwandan singer amongst terror plot suspects

Read more

FOCUS

Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

  • Algeria heads to the polls: ‘This election has nothing to do with us’

    Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine to begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

Africa

Ben Ali allies face court for trying to flee Tunisia

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-07-26

Twenty-three allies of ousted Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali appeared in a Tunis court on Tuesday to face charges of trying to flee the country with illegal foreign currencies during the January uprising that led to Ben Ali's ouster.

AFP - Twenty-three allies of ousted Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his wife Leila Trabelsi appeared before a Tunis court Tuesday for trying to flee the country last January in illegal possession of foreign currency.

A total of 35 people are facing charges but only the 23 Ben Ali associates arrested in January appeared before the court Tuesday.

The 23 were arrested and found to be in possession of a large sum in foreign currency as they tried to flee the country on [January] 14, the day Ben Ali and his wife fled into exile in Saudi Arabia following a weeks-long popular revolt.

Fourteen men, in handcuffs, and nine women, wearing white full-length robes, entered the tiny courtroom which was packed with journalists and lawyers.

The defendants, including Imed Trabelsi, Leila's nephew and one of the most reviled men from the former ruling clan, have been held at the Aouina military base in Tunis since their arrest.

"You tried to flee the country on January 11 in possession of foreign currency and jewels," court president Faouzi Jbelli said, before reading out the charges against each of the accused.

Imed Trabelsi, wearing a white polo shirt, rejected the charges, denied that he had sought to flee the country and said the money in his possession came from "legal activities".

The prosecution said Imed, who was already sentenced to four years in jail in June for drug posession, had 36 watches and five kilograms of jewellery when he was nabbed at the airport.

Another co-defendant, Moncef Trabelsi, was caught with 2,400 dollars (1,658 euros) and 17,500 euros.

A defense lawyer said the trial might be postponed after the reading of the charges.

Since his escape to Saudi Arabia, Ben Ali has already been twice convicted and sentenced in trials held in his absence.

On July 4, a Tunis court sentenced him to 15 and a half years in jail for possession of arms, drugs and archaeological artefacts -- and fined him 54,000 euros.

And in June, Ben Ali and his wife were sentenced to 35 years in prison and fined 45 million euros for misappropriating public funds after police found large sums of cash and jewellery in their palace.

Ben Ali denounced his first conviction as a "parody of justice" and "political liquidation" in a statement issued last month.

But he and his entourage face possible legal proceedings in around 180 other cases.
 

Date created : 2011-07-26

  • TUNISIA

    Ben Ali facing abuse-of-power charges in fresh trial

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Ben Ali convicted on drugs and arms charges

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Deposed Tunisian leader Ben Ali sentenced to 35 years

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)